Andy Carroll’s frustrations last night weren’t hard to see, but do you blame him? For the 11th game in a row the big striker failed to find the back of the net, making it a lowly 5 goals in 30 games since his 35 million pound move from Newcastle 12 months ago.
I’ve copped a lot of flak from friends and family throughout 2011 for the Carroll signing, and I’ve defended him to the hills and back – perhaps surprisingly I’m going to continue in my defence of the 22-year-old.
It seems whenever there is the faintest of signs of discontent at Anfield, everyone jumps on the back of Carroll. I don’t blame them, he’s an easy target. For a big money signing, he hasn’t lived up to expectations, but I think some fans may be going too far in their rejection of Carroll.
I watched his performance closely last night, and genuinely felt sorry for him. In the absence of Suarez, Gerrard and Bellamy, often his closest support came from two defensive minded midfielders in Charlie Adam and Jay Spearing – hardly the type of player you can expect to run past and collect a flick on or a hold up.
Furthermore, our midfielders continued to mindlessly hoof the ball to Carroll. A statistic which reflects Carroll’s agony up front is that we had 37 long balls played into the area – compared to Manchester City’s 4. How do you expect someone to beat four defenders in the air 37 times?
By the end of the game, I got fed up with watching Vincent Kompany head every single cross easily away. I’m sure Carroll would have been as well.
I still believe Andy Carroll has what it takes to become a Liverpool hero. There were glimpses of his newly formed partnership with Steven Gerrard against Newcastle which highlighted my belief. The skipper’s energetic introduction saw him whip delightful passes to Carroll inside the area, one which he smacked against the bar and a couple more which he probably should’ve taken advantage of.
So in saying this – I beg of you to stick by big Andy. Show him the support and faith that he needs, because I’m sure that one day we’ll reap the benefits of a deadly striker at the top of his game.